How does Shakespeare create a sense of drama in Act 3, Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet

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Romeo and Juliet was a play written in the Elizabethan times by the famous British playwright Shakespeare. This play is based on a feud between two families, the Montague family and the Capulet family. In those two families two ‘star crossed lovers’ are found, their names Romeo and Juliet. The play begins with a fight scene. Next Romeo and his best friend Mercutio decide to gate crash a Capulet party. In this party Romeo meets Juliet and it was love at first sight for them. At the party Tybalt, a Capulet sees Romeo but Juliet’s Father says not to attack and Tybalt vows to get revenge for this.

Later Romeo Meets Juliet in the famous balcony scene and decides to get married. The next day Father Lawrence marries them in secret. On his way back from the marriage Romeo meets Tybalt and is challenged to a fight. Romeo refuses to do so as they are now family but Mercutio decides against this and fights and gets killed. Then Romeo kills Tybalt. When Prince finds out about this Romeo gets banished. Later due to confusion and an undelivered letter Romeo thinks Juliet is dead and therefore commits suicide.

Juliet wakes up from a deep sleep and kills herself when she sees Romeo dead. In the deaths, the two families are reunited. Shakespeare uses many devices to create tension, drama and conflict. Shakespeare creates tension and drama in many ways before the street brawl. Tybalt makes it obvious that there is going to be a clash in Act 1, Scene 5 when Montague stops a fight during a party and Tybalt replies ‘I will withdraw, but this intrusion shall, Now seeming sweet, convert to bitt’rest gall’.

In this Tybalt is basically saying, ‘I will leave this now but I will get him later’. Leaving a threat like this hanging is a very effective way of creating tension and drama among the audience because the audience now realize how strong the feud is and are almost certain that a fight is approaching. This is good use of drama and a good way of creating tension. In this scene they were so close to conflict that if Capulet had not intervened a full out fight would have broken out there and then.

In this Tybalt also calls Romeo names that imply he is nothing more than an animal ‘a Montague;a villain; I’ll not endure him’ The way he talks about Romeo is as if he wishes nothing more than for him to be gone, and a duel is the only way he can accomplish it. This scene does a very good job of introducing the tension to the audience, and that the feud can only end in one way, a fight. At the beginning of Act 3 Scene 1 Mercutio’s playful comedy adds to the sense of tension and anticipation. When Mercutio compares Benvolio to a jack this is quite funny and adds to the tension because this means Benvolio is scared of a fight breaking out.

Thou art as hot a Jack in thy mood as any in Italy. ‘ His use of humor make the audience realize that Mercutio does not care if a fight will break out, it even suggests that he is eager for it. He wants to fight and thinks the whole situation will be funny. At the beginning of the scene Mercutio also uses repetition of the word ‘quarrel’ This is particularly effective because the audience are already waiting for a quarrel of some sort so this makes the word stick in their head and makes them remember it.

Punctuation is also used to let the audience think about what has just been said. I pray thee, good Mercutio, let’s retire:’ this a very effective way of adding tension because Benvolio is almost begging for them to go away to prevent a fight. This tells the audience something serious is going to happen. Tension is created when the Capulets enter and this is reflected in the language used by the feuding men. Tybalt begins by calling the Montagues ‘gentlemen’. This is an effective way to cause tension because it is false kindness and the audience knows it. Tybalt is being deliberately ‘over kind’ to the Montagues in a mocking way towards them.

Then Tybalt asks them for ‘a word’ which sounds like a teacher asking to have a word with a child who has done something wrong. Benvolio becomes hostile by saying ‘make it a word and a blow. ‘ The effect of this is an addition of tension for the upcoming fight and also is also another one of Benvolio’s funny lines. This is a very obvious way to add tension directly and also create some humor at the same time. When Romeo is asked to fight he says he loves Tybalt because he is now his cousin but can’t tell him this because the marriage is still a secret.

Omission is also used ‘I will budge for no man’s pleasure, I. this is an effective ending of a line because it shows how important Romeo’s entrance is. It adds even more to the drama of the scene. Shakespeare uses the technique of building up tension slowly. He also builds up the tempo. At first the fight seems to be mostly insults. Then swords are drawn and finally Mercutio dies. Mercutio’s death is the last thing anyone would expect to happen. He was so certain he would win the duel and was laughing at it before hand. The Fact that Mercutio was stabbed under Romeo’s; his best friend’s arm is even more shocking for the audience.

Also partially because Mercutio was fighting for Romeo. In a way Romeo ends up killing Mercutio instead of stopping the fight because he blocked Mercutio’s view. At first Mercutio jokes about his injury ‘Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch’ this is again funny because Tybalt is known as the king of cats and cats scratch. Mercutio’s whole character changes after that he changes from being comic to cursing both their houses for his injury. This change in heart tells the audience that he is really going to die. This fight scene is a good way to express conflict because it is all so unexpected.

After Mercutio’s death Romeo curses himself for being so soft and blames Juliet for his reluctance to fight. ‘O sweet Juliet, thy beauty hath made me effeminate. ‘ this shows that now he is blaming himself for the death of his dear friend no Tybalt who did it. A few lines later however he says one of them must die for Mercutio’s death ‘either thou, or I, or both, must go with him. ‘ This lead up to Tybalt’s death is an effective peace of drama because it tells them one must die but they do not know who it will be. The language used is also very important in creating a sense of drama and tension. Black fate’ is used.

This is very important because in Elizabethan times people were very superstitious and believed in Black fate and being cursed by someone. The audience must have thought that it was true that Romeo has bad luck. And bad luck does not just go away. Another good use of imagery is ‘softened steel’, ‘spirits and clouds’ this again relates to the bad luck going around and softened steel refers to Romeo because he did not fight. Something bad was going to happen again if Romeo did not stop himself. Soon later Romeo killed Tybalt was killed.

This was expected but it probably did surprise the audience that Romeo did it who not 100 line earlier say that Juliet softened him. We do not expect Romeo to kill but rather to be killed by Tybalt. Killing Tybalt sets Romeo on a road to Tragedy he is exiled. Romeo is a tragic hero. He is brave and good and then one mistake set him on a road to disaster. For Romeo this disaster is his and Juliet’s death. Because Romeo is a tragic hero we could say the play is as much a tragedy as a romance. After killing Tybalt Romeo says he is ‘fortune’s fool’.

In the superstitious Elizabethan times would be good use of drama because everyone in the audience was probably thinking he was anyway. Benvolio explains in short what happened during the fight scene after Romeo flees to everyone who is around. He retells the story so that the audiences feel sorry for Romeo and that he is ‘fortune’s fool’. This is effective because Benvolio summarizes the events that have led Romeo on a road to disaster. Lady Capulets is very harsh to Romeo for she does not believe Benvolio because he is Montague. She is considered selfish because after all that has happened she still continues the feud.

Romeo slew Tybalt, Romeo must not live. ‘ In The princes last speech rhyming couplets are used. This gives flow to the speech and makes it seem less threatening towards Romeo. It also makes a dramatic effect on the punishment because the Prince will punish everyone who commits murder. Tybalt would be given a death sentence anyway so Romeo was not sentenced to death for his kill but exiled. There is also dramatic irony in the prince’s last line. ‘Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill. ‘ This means that if murders are not stopped that will murder more.

This is Ironic because Romeo kills himself and through that Juliet at the end of the play. The most effective dramatic devices in the play were the use of puns by Mercutio and imagery by Romeo. The tension in this was obvious throughout between the two families and conflict happened throughout scene 3 act 1. From this scene we can predict that Romeo is on a road to a tragic end. At the end of the scene the audience is bound to realize that Romeo and Juliet are doomed. This is a play more of its time because we do not have family feuds any more however its lessons on violence are relevant because violence can only lead to more violence.

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